Bistro owner smells a rat as customer claims free meal

ENGLAND: The owner of a top-rated bistro smelled a rat when a customer pulled a rodent from his pocket and shouted out in alarm in an attempt to get a free meal.

Restaurateur Kevin Smith, 48, branded fraudster Christopher Baker a “scumbag” for trying the trick at Borneo Bistro in Sunderland — which attracts Premier League footballers — saying it could have ruined the business he built up over seven years.

Baker, aged 28, from Shields Place, Houghton, Tyne and Wear, pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court last week. He received a 12-month community order with a rehabilitation activity requirement, and ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £7.25 compensation — the cost of his meal — to the restaurant.

Throne enthralled

USA: The premiere of the fifth series of Game of Thrones was held at a palatial building in San Francisco yesterday, aptly suited for the television show about a mythical kingdom.

The City by the Bay is also a leading tech hub and HBO gave Game of Thrones fans access to the red carpet event by streaming it live on the show’s Facebook page.

Stars of the show including Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) were all set to attend the event at the War Memorial Opera House last night.

New tipple

ENGLAND: They are two of the quintessential tastes of the British summer — and now a blend of Pimm’s and cider is set to end one of the trickier choices of the barbecue season.

Drinks giant Diageo hopes the latest incarnation of the British brand, the Pimm’s Cider Cup, will tap into the increasing popularity of fruit cider and flavoured spirits.

It describes the tipple as British cider “infused” with Pimm’s and flavoured with strawberry and cucumber, and claims that it is best drunk from a pint glass over ice.

It follows the launch of Pimm’s Blackberry & Elderflower in 2013, which brought 40% more new shoppers to the brand.

Lion kings

PALESTINE: A family in the Gaza Strip has bought two lion cubs from a local zoo — to keep at home as pets.

The two-and-a-half-month-old cubs now play with Saed Eldin al-Jamal’s grandchildren at his home in the city of Rafah and already eat about 500g of meat a day.

Al-Jamal said he knows the cubs eventually will become dangerous, but added: “In one month, they will start being kept in a cage for our own safety.”

Big attraction

ENGLAND: One of the world’s largest warships is currently at anchor off the UK’s south coast — because it is too big to enter one of the Royal Navy’s major bases.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt, one of 10 Nimitz class aircraft carriers in the US fleet, has arrived at Portsmouth, Hampshire, for a five-day visit.

The 100,000-tonne ship, nicknamed Big Stick, will remain off Stokes Bay, Gosport, Hampshire, for the duration of its first port of call in its round-the-world deployment. The ship is substantially larger than the Royal Navy’s next generation of carriers which weigh in at 65,000 tonnes.

Buzz off

USA: A bee attack during a baseball game in St George, Utah, forced players and spectators to flee and sent one man to the hospital.

St George fire captain Robert Hooper said the man was stung between 200 and 300 times at Elk’s Field.

He said the man did not exhibit any signs of a severe reaction, and was alert and talking to emergency responders. Several other people were treated for stings at the scene.


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